- In the
United States, approximately 8,600 children were diagnosed with cancer
and about 1,500 children died from the disease in 2001.
- This makes
cancer the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children under
the 12 major types of childhood cancers, leukemias, brain and other
central nervous system tumors account for over one-half of the new cases.
one-third of childhood cancers are leukemias; approximately 2,700 children
(younger than 15 years) were diagnosed with leukemia in 2001.
- The most
common type of leukemia in children is acute lymphocytic leukemia.
- The most
common solid tumors are brain tumors (e.g., gliomas and medulloblastomas),
with other solid tumors (e.g., neuroblastomas, Wilms’ tumors,
and rhabdomyosarcomas) being less common.
- Over the
past 20 years, there has been an increase in the incidence of children
diagnosed with all forms of invasive cancer; from 11.4 cases per 100,000
children in 1975 to 15.2 per 100,000 children in 1998.
treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy for certain forms of
childhood and adolescent cancers, such as Hodgkin’s disease, brain
tumors, sarcomas, and others, may develop a second primary malignancy.
types of chemotherapy drugs, including drugs that are alkylating agents
(e.g. cyclophosphamide or cytoxan, cisplatin, ifosfamide, thiotepa)
or topoisomerase II inhibitors (e.g. etoposide), may cause increased
risk of leukemia.
National Cancer Institute
Research on Childhood Cancers, Cancer Facts, February 12,
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